I figured if this Drudge fellow can have his own report, why can’t I have mine? (Plus, during the school year, once a week is about all I can muster for blogging.)
Well, here I sit staring at this morning’s paper and an 0-6 record after six home games. I haven’t even found the time to read through the Free Press and News‘ preview issues (cleverly themed “Charged” and “Detroit Lumber Co.,” respectively) touting this high-powered offense and I can tell you from my first in-person viewing last night that those two sections couldn’t be further from the truth at the moment.
About the only charge emanating from the CoPa last night was the static electricity from all the fleece in the yard rubbing together as the folks tried to stay warm while a relatively balmy spring day reminded us how it can quickly turn into a dang chilling spring night in a hurry (especially when the wind picks up).
(Side Rant: Seriously, who’s the brainiac at Major League Baseball that decided the first Tigers’ night game of the season should be an 8:05 start the first week of April? Hello! If Detroit scheduled its own games — including a Friday — as afternoon contests, don’t you think it was for a reason? Was this forward-thinking individual the same hack who decided to schedule the Atlanta Braves on a one-game road trip to Washington to open the Nationals’ new yard last Sunday?)
I shouldn’t say last night’s game was devoid of electricity. I marveled upon my family’s arrival at how electric it did feel. We were there by 7:15 and the concourses were teeming with activity. The gift shops had lines to get in, folks were milling about swilling beer, swapping stories, and, in general, enjoying the extra hour before game time. It was a marvelous environment … then the game began.
It was an embarrassment. Five double plays? The barrel of the mighty Miguel Cabrera‘s bat went further than the ball his first two at bats. And how about that Edgar Renteria (he of the supposedly high OBP) first-pitch swinging in his first two trips to the plate? Ramon Santiago was apparently channeling his inner-Michael Johnson on that double-turned-out at third. What’s that old baseball rule? Oh yeah, the one I learned in Little League: Never make the first or final out of an inning at third base! Mercifully I was long gone (note gratuitous Ernie Harwell reference) by the time Carlos Guillen dropped a thigh-high throw that was by all accounts in his glove. I did, however, see the passed ball by Pudge Rodriguez on the night he was awarded yet another Gold Glove during a pre-game ceremony. Speaking of Pudge, someone needs to remind him that in your walk year you’re supposed to produce during the regular season, not just the preseason.
There is one member of the Tiger organization who is in mid-season form, however … Jim Price. Due to this glut of day games I’ve only been able to listen to a couple of innings of Saturday’s game on the radio, but Mr. Price made those two innings count: Seven “no question/no question about its,” two “scalded/scalded dogs,” three “movement/late movements,” and one “atom ball.” And speaking of another year of old Smokey in the booth I learned wilst beating my early and hasty retreat last night that it was on this date, April 7, 1967, that the Tigers purchased the contract of one Jim Price from the Pittsburgh Pirates. One question: Does anyone still have the receipt so we can look into a refund?
While Jim’s in rare form his partner Dan Dickerson, well, not so much. Perhaps it was simply a case of too many Cabrera’s on the left side of the infield during this series, but I heard him refer to Renteria as Cabrera both Saturday and Sunday.
I took solace this morning, however, when my morning friendly reminded me that four of last year’s post-season participants finished April under .500. The Rockies were six games under at 10-16. That means the Detroit needs to play .500 ball the rest of the way to keep pace.
Until next week.